Healthcare is an interesting industry, in that from a consumer standpoint, unless you’re an expecting mother, or have a ritual of grabbing lunch at your local hospital cafeteria, most consumers of healthcare would rather not be customers. Combine this element of an already resistant, disengaged consumer base, with the high-risk environment that comes with managing a hospital. Ask yourself what could go wrong, then ask yourself how prepared you have to be to manage and maintain the success of a major healthcare system. It’s momentous to say the least. This isn’t a job where you get to clock in and spend a few hours here and there on Facebook. No, instead you have to perform, and you have to do it well, in what are often chaotic environments. So what is it that drives a more than capable marketing and communications professional to embed herself in an industry surrounded by chaos?
Of the countless passionate and driven nurses, techs, and physicians I’ve met, they will all tell you the reason they go back to work everyday is for those moments, the ones where they know they made a difference in a patient’s life. Sure, some jobs in healthcare give you the opportunity to pull in a decent salary, but if you think it’s about the money, you have yet to realize the sacrifice required to work in this industry. There has to be something more that comes with the job that makes that sacrifice worth it. According to Melissa Sterling, a former Chief Marketing and Communications Officer for Hospital Sisters Health System (Southern Division), as well as a former Vice President of Marketing for The ROHO Group, there is without a doubt a reward that is truly invaluable.
Following your passion is great, but pursuing a career that merges your passion with the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of those around you is priceless. This contrast is what Melissa refers to as the difference between satisfying work and meaningful work. As a University of Missouri J-School graduate and well experienced marketing professional, having served in various senior-level marketing roles, the opportunities that allowed her to contribute to the well-being of patients lives were the most rewarding. From the impact she made while serving on behalf of St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, to introducing innovative communication strategies for The ROHO Group, the pride and joy that came with knowing she was helping organizations that help others is something she cherishes to this day. If given the opportunity to work on a Super Bowl campaign, which most in the marketing space would see as a dream opportunity, she would rather contribute her part by helping to develop communication strategies in the healthcare space. Her unending drive to invest day in and day out is fueled by the desire to earn that feeling of intense fulfillment, knowing she did something that truly helped the life of someone other than herself.
Some might find this to be crazy, or too good to be true, but I think it’s an innate truth very few are privileged enough to discover. Money is like oxygen; it’s necessary to live, but not the purpose of living. Whether your passion is marketing and communications, or building bridges and engineering for the future, find a way to make a contribution, to give back, and I promise you the sacrifice is more than worth the reward.
Two college students are discussing their dreams and aspirations over coffee, and a stranger, maybe early 50’s, leans in out of curiosity to ask about their career goals. Surprised, the stranger is taken back at how motivated and driven these students are to escape the average 9-5 and create something for themselves. This notion that the 9-5 is even possible to escape is implausible for most members of the old guard. When they hear it, they often jump to the conclusion that those desiring a job outside these walls are either out of touch with what it takes to run a business or are too lazy to make a real contribution. For some, this might be an accurate assumption to make, but for those few movers and shakers of the millennial generation, this couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Launching on the 17th of August, comes Hierarchy, a blog for young millennials who want more than that average 9-5 job that awaits them upon graduation. After having met BreAnna Menendez-Phillips, a business and marketing student attending the University of Missouri St. Louis (UMSL), I was able to learn how Hierarchy came to be, where her and her co-founders intend on taking this newly created brand, and their motivations for doing so.
The name Hierarchy comes from this idea you often find when reading about celebrity status CEO’s and leaders who have built momentous organizations. It’s this idea of never being satisfied, and the desire to keep achieving beyond your own expectations; aim high, and keep aiming higher. With that said, posts published throughout the blog all relate back to investing in young millennials who hope to achieve career outcomes beyond the status quo. As Hierarchy continues to generate a following, BreAnna explained to me that the group plans to expand the blog’s brand into a platform that offers services for young millennials looking to do bigger and better things with their lives. With ideas ranging from providing personal branding and professional development services, to offering scholarships and startup grants to young entrepreneurs, the sky really is the limit for these young trailblazers.
You don't need to agree with someone to listen to their point of view. Listening is one thing, but I'm curious how many of us read books from those opposite to our own beliefs and from authors who challenge our current philosophies.
If you couldn't already tell from my previous posts, I'm a pretty big fan of Malcolm Gladwell. Although, my latest read of Outliers was not the easiest of reads. I found myself forcing my subconscious to listen to the points he was making about the elements of one's success, waiting for him to mention the other side of the coin, the one where you find your own opportunity no matter your current situation. You see, Gladwell identifies different cases of success throughout the last few decades and attempts to explain the underlying elements that add to one's success. He concludes that we do not make our success alone, and that there are multiple external elements, often unique to the individual that make it possible for them to succeed to such an extent.
For example, in the book he analyzes Bill Gates's back story, and discovers he had access to computers at a very young age when even most universities did not. By the time he was in college, he had already surpassed the normal 10,000+ hours mark needed to become an expert in his field, and ended up dropping out to form what is now Microsoft. He also mentions Steve Jobs, as to give some backing for his claim. He explains Jobs did not come from as privileged of a family, but he did although live near Silicon Valley and had the opportunity to gain experience and knowledge at a young age from some of the top tech companies in the country based on his geographic location. Gladwell cites these underlying elements as key points to consider when analyzing the "why" behind massively successful individuals. He expresses this focus on situational characteristics time and time again, and I can confidently say that I agree 100% that these elements definitely add to one's success, whether they are cultural or socioeconomic.
Although, the problem I faced with this book was not necessarily that I disagreed with his analysis, but more so that I felt like he left out a core element in analyzing one's success, that of the behavioral nature. Sure, there will always be external elements to consider, but whatever your definition of success might be, those who strive for the win also possess an attribute that can only be described as one who consistently looks for new opportunities. You will never find yourself being able to take advantage of such luck or opportunity, if you don't first position yourself to find it. Yes, having access to computers and programming at a very young age will obviously give you an edge as you begin to compete for that win, but it takes something of an individual to seize that opportunity and follow through with it to begin with. You might come from royalty, or you might come from the ghetto, but at the end of the day it's not the opportunity alone that defines your ability to succeed, but your aptitude to search for and seize such opportunity.